iPod to Car Stereo Solution

Got an old car stereo? Want to play music wirelessly to it from an iPod, iPad or iPhone? Here's the iPod to car stereo solution:

I got an e-mail about this the other day, from a regular 2UE listener. With the average car about 10 years old in Australia, it's a problem.

If you want to play your music from your iPod, iPad or iPhone in your (older) car stereo, there's a simple solution that will see you playing your music wirelessly to you old car stereo system - without investing in an expensive new car audio system with Bluetooth. All you need is a car stereo modern enough to contain a tunable FM radio receiver and it's a done deal.

We're assuming here that you don't have a car stereo system with Bluetooth audio streaming. We're also assuming the stereo doesn't have an 'aux' input either - because the simplest solution if it does is just put a 3.2mm stereo-to-3.2mm stereo (male) cable from the headphone out jack of the 'i' device and into the 'aux' port in the stereo. Same thing if you have a USB port in the car stereo: just use a cable.

But if you don't have Bluetooth, aux, or USB inputs in your car audio unit, what you need is an iPod FM transmitter (or iPad/iPhone FM transmitter - they're all exactly the same thing).

It works like this: You plug your iPod, iPad or iPhone into the FM transmitter. The audio signal comes out of the 'i' device and goes into the FM transmitter. The FM transmitter then outputs the audio as an FM radio frequency, and you tune your old car stereo to that frequency. (Obviously, you need to select a frequency that's not being used for commercial broadcast of radio in your area.) Don't worry - FM radio transmitters all allow you to alter the frequency so you can select an unused one.

Four of the best units were reviewed independently here:

The four come bundled with different features (for example the Navman is a GPS navigator that also allows you also to play music from an SD card, while the Pure Highway is also an in-car digital radio tuner).

No surgery is required, either - so you can connect your iPod, iPad or iPhone wirelessly to your older car stereo without spending more than $200, and without interfering with your old car's aesthetic purity. Brilliant.